|Publication number||US6439162 B1|
|Application number||US 09/765,386|
|Publication date||Aug 27, 2002|
|Filing date||Jan 22, 2001|
|Priority date||May 25, 1999|
|Also published as||CA2337458A1, DE60008193D1, DE60008193T2, EP1100321A1, EP1100321B1, WO2000070941A1|
|Publication number||09765386, 765386, US 6439162 B1, US 6439162B1, US-B1-6439162, US6439162 B1, US6439162B1|
|Inventors||Karel Van den Berg|
|Original Assignee||Lely Research Holding A.G.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (18), Classifications (15), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This Application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/NL00/00308, May 10, 2000.
The invention relates to an unmanned vehicle to be used in a stable, such as a cowshed, or in a meadow.
Known unmanned vehicles for use in stables are usually employed for cleaning stable floors.
It is an objective of the invention to provide a multifunctional, unmanned vehicle.
In accordance with the invention, this is achieved by providing an unmanned vehicle with detection means for determining the health or the behavior of animals or both. With the aid of its detection means the unmanned vehicle is capable of identifying animals which are ill or display abnormal behavior or both. According to an inventive feature, the unmanned vehicle comprises alarm means for informing a supervisor when an animal is ill or displays abnormal behavior. In this manner it is possible to react quickly and adequately when there is something wrong with an animal.
According to a further inventive feature, the detection means comprises an animal identification system provided with a transmitter and a receiver. By means of the animal identification system it is determined for example whether an animal is lying or standing longer than usually at a certain place. This may be an indication that the animal is ill. According to another inventive feature, the animal identification system comprises a radar as well as reflectors which react to the radar, such reflectors being disposed on the animals. Each of these reflectors has a unique code, so that it is possible to monitor the movements of each animal. In this manner it is also possible to determine abnormal behavior of the animals. According to another inventive feature, the detection means comprises a camera, preferably an infrared camera. By means of image analysis of the images of the animals recorded by the camera it is possible for example to determine whether an animal has mastitis or is injured or should be inseminated. It is also possible to track the animals by means of the camera. For enabling a still better view of the animals, the detection means are disposed on a telescopic carrier. According to again another inventive feature, the unmanned vehicle comprises herding means for controlling the animals. With the aid of the herding means animals can be separated from a group for the purpose of being inseminated or examined by a veterinary surgeon. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the herding means comprises an electric shock device.
According to another aspect of the invention, the unmanned vehicle comprises disinfecting means for disinfecting at least a part of the stable or a part of an animal or both. According to again another aspect of the invention, the disinfecting means are disposed on-a telescopic carrier. The latter measure makes it possible to disinfect at places which are difficult to reach. For the purpose of making the unmanned vehicle still more multifunctional, it is provided with a manure slide for removing manure which is lying on a floor. According to another inventive feature, the unmanned vehicle is provided with navigation means for guiding the unmanned vehicle through the stable or the meadow. The navigation means may be the same as the above-described detection means.
The invention will now be explained in further detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a stable with an unmanned vehicle accommodated therein, which vehicle is provided with detection means according to the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a side view of the unmanned vehicle shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a stable 1 provided with a milking robot 2 for automatically milking animals and an unmanned vehicle 3 which is provided with detection means 4 for determining the health or the behavior or both of animals.
FIG. 2 is a side view of unmanned vehicle 3 according to the invention, which is provided with a chassis 5 with wheels 6. Wheels 6 are driven by a drive unit. A rotatable upper part 7 is arranged on chassis 5 on which detection means 4 are mounted. In the present embodiment detection means 4 comprises a radar 8 and a camera 9. Unmanned vehicle 3 is further provided with a transmitter unit including a transmitting element 10. By means of the transmitter unit a supervisor can be alerted when an animal is ill or displays abnormal behavior or both. On the rotatable upper part 7 a disinfecting means 11 is provided for disinfecting at least a part of the stable or at least a part of an animal or for carrying out both functions. In the present embodiment disinfecting means 11 comprises a sprayer 12 which is disposed on a telescopic carrier 13.
On rotatable upper part 7 an animal control means 14 is provided for herding animals. Control means 14 is fitted to the upper side of camera 9 and connected to an electric shock device which is capable of emitting an electrical pulse.
In the present embodiment camera 9 is used to guide the unmanned vehicle through a stable or a meadow or through both.
Although I have disclosed the preferred embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that it is capable of other adaptations and modifications within the scope of the following claims:
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|U.S. Classification||119/174, 119/908|
|International Classification||A01K1/01, B60P3/30, A01K29/00, B60P3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S119/908, A01K15/029, A01K15/003, A01K1/0103, A01K29/00|
|European Classification||A01K15/02F, A01K29/00, A01K15/00B, A01K1/01A|
|Jan 22, 2001||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LELY RESEARCH HOLDING AG, SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VAN DEN BERG, KAREL;REEL/FRAME:011476/0439
Effective date: 20001213
|Feb 3, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LELY ENTERPRISES A.G., A SWISS LIMITED LIABILITY
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LELY HOLDING A.G.;REEL/FRAME:013740/0904
Effective date: 20030123
Owner name: LELY HOLDING A.G., SWITZERLAND
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LELY RESEARCH HOLDING A.G.;REEL/FRAME:013740/0688
Effective date: 20010516
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|Mar 1, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Feb 27, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12